Reclaiming My Time
This summer, we held our first Community Conversation. Community conversations are a series of forums meant to serve as a venue for discussing specific difficulties faced by Black professionals in natural history museums and other academic institutions. During these discussions, we strategize ways to confront and mitigate these issues through self-advocacy, boundary setting. The first conversation in the series was Reclaiming My Time.
We engaged in a moderated open-floor dialogue to air issues and triumphs related to balancing work and social obligations for Black people in Natural History Museums and other academic spaces. This conversation comes out of the with well-known issues for “lonely onlys” in the workplace. Frequently, Black, Indigenous and people of color are overtasked with the responsibility of addressing climate and cultural issues that result in a lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This burden, expected in addition to normal work duties without compensation for increased labor, is often referred to as the “minority tax.” We discussed strategies for prioritizing what is important to us and for saying “No” when we are overcommitted or uninterested. Participants also shared positive and negative experiences doing so. We also talked about the importance of work-life balance and issues of exploitation generally, not only in the context of the minority tax.
Annual Black in Natural History Museums Week
Inspired by the many Black-in-“X” weeks on twitter, we organized our annual online event in October to engage Black in Natural History Museum professionals (#BlackinNHMs).